Last night, Pierce and I played Christmas music for a party as a string duo on our violin and viola. It was fun to do together, and it makes me think back on the many times our family played music for different Christmas concerts at senior centers, nursing homes, the mall, and private homes over the years.
One year, a German woman at a nursing home sang along as we played O Tannenbaum, singing several verses of the song and entirely in German. While she told us after about how fondly she remembered her homeland, she cried and her emotion moved us too. We were grateful to be able to share something so meaningful to her. A man we met at the Union Printers Home had been a musician but with MS stealing his motor control, he had nothing left of his physical strength but enough to bump the control knob of his electric wheelchair. His eyes welled with tears as he told us how much hearing our music meant to him, and he said that when nothing much else is left in life, we’ll still have music.
The picture above is from 2003 when we went to the home of Frank and Renee Royal to play Christmas music for them. They were some of our favorite audience because of what they’d meant to us over the years. They’d been part of our Quad Squad, helping to take care of the kids when they came home from the hospital and for many more months after that. The six of us attended their 50th wedding anniversary celebration when the kids were only eight months old (pictured below). We were also privileged to be at their 65th. By then, in 2008, Renee’s health was failing. The kids and I went one more time to their home and played our music especially for Renee. With a blanket over her lap to keep warm and oxygen on to ease her breathing, she beamed with joy as the kids played. When we finished, Renee said, “I’m ready to go now. I’ve heard the angels’ music.” She passed away just a few days later and the four kids and I played our string quintet for her memorial service. Last month, Frank went to meet Renee. He’d reached 101 years of age, living eight years longer than she had, but he said he was ready to go now too. It was nice that they—as well as the many others who met us with gratitude and cheer—let us serenade them while they were here.
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time.